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Genus Papaver Family Papaveraceae

Description: Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, latex frequently colourless.

Leaves forming a basal rosette when young, alternate on stems.

Flowers solitary, on long peduncles; buds drooping. Sepals 2, shed early. Petals 4. Ovary 1-locular; carpels several; stigmas several, sessile, in radial rows on a disc on top of the ovary.

Capsule dehiscing by pores; seeds numerous.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: c. 6 species (c. 5 species naturalised, 1 species doubtfully native), all States.

Text by S.W.L. Jacobs
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Capsule with numerous bristles2
Capsule glabrous3
2Capsule 10–12.5 mm long, 10–15 mm diam., subglobose to ovoidPapaver hybridum
Capsule 15–20 mm long, 3–5 mm diam., oblong
                       Back to 1
Papaver argemone
3Capsule at least twice as long as broad, 6–8 mm diam4
Capsule no more than twice as long as broad, 10 mm or more diam
                       Back to 1
5
4Capsule c. 15 mm long, with 4–8 stigmatic raysPapaver aculeatum
Capsule 15–25 mm long, with 6–10 stigmatic rays
                       Back to 3
Papaver dubium
5Stem leaves sessile, clasping stemPapaver somniferum
Stem leaves shortly petiolate, petiole usually winged
                       Back to 3
Papaver rhoeas

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